Six Tribes Sue Wisconsin In An Effort To Stop The November Wolf Hunt

Six Tribes Sue Wisconsin In An Effort To Stop The November Wolf Hunt

Parker Smith, Writer

Six Native American tribes are suing Wisconsin to try and put an end to the state’s grey wolf hunt this November.  The Chippewa tribes have the right to half of the wolf quota each year, and instead of wanting to hunt half of the wolves, they want to protect them. They argue that set quotas each season don’t consider population estimates doesn’t solve the issue of poaching, and could seriously impact the grey wolf population in Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin Considers Limiting The Quota This Fall

Wisconsin considered limiting the fall quota of grey wolves, since the hunters blew through the spring quota of one hundred nineteen wolves, instead of killing around two hundred eighteen, after just four days of the hunting season. This then spurred conservationists to encourage The Department of Natural Resources, to cancel the fall hunting season out of fear of more overhunting. These conservationists fear that more excessive hunting will decimate the grey wolf population. But the board set this year’s kill limit to three hundred. The Native American tribes claimed their half of the quota, effectively setting the kill limit to one hundred fifty wolves. The lawsuit states that the board’s decision to set the kill limit at three hundred was an attempt to nullify the tribe’s share and did not consider population at all. The tribes feel that due to the poaching, they are not getting the entirety of their share of the quota, this sentiment officially announced the lawsuit. Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on the behalf of the tribes and described Wisconsin’s decision to set the quota at 300 as rushed and ill-advised.

The Endangered Species Acts

Last November former president Trump decided to lift the Endangered Species act’s protection over grey wolves, returning the matter population control back to the states. The grey wolves in Wisconsin are considered part of the great lake’s population, which is managed separately from the rest of the western U.S. President Biden stated that protections may need to be reinstated in the western states, as some of the state management laws have made it very easy to kill these predators. Many tribes in the great lakes region begged President Biden to not only reinstate the act in the western states but the great lakes region as well.  President Biden has not made any changes to either area as of yet. However, the U.S Fish and Wildlife services determined that due to the state’s aggressive hunting, the grey wolves could still be in peril.

Environmental Effects

Thanks to the now small population of grey wolves, prey animals that the wolves would usually be able to keep in checks, such as deer and rabbits are running rampant. Due to the poaching over grey wolves everywhere, not just in Wisconsin, they are not able to hunt as many deer, causing the population to explode. Not only is this dangerous for the ecosystem, but it’s also dangerous for people. More and more deer will be wandering into residential areas in search of food. This could lead to a rise in car accidents caused by wildlife and the spread of Lymes disease, thanks to deer ticks. Not having enough predators in the area can seriously negatively impact the ecosystem.